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Recruiting Monday: Take the Helm

The 2010 recruiting class is beginning to take focus with the recent commitment of man-beast Delvin Jones.  Jones, whose mere 4-star ratings are somewhat hampered by the recruiting agencies' inability to project his playing position, is a tremendous luxury - an athlete who can legitimately excel at several positions on either the offensive or defensive side of the ball.  His current projections are for defensive end, tight end, or wide receiver, but there's honestly no reason he couldn't be converted into an outside linebacker as well.  Oh, and he's enrolling in January as well, meaning he'll get the benefit of spring practice.

I would love to be a fly on the wall when the position coaches negotiate for his services.

Jones brings the 2010 class up to 16 which, not including Jones, is currently split 6 offensive players, 8 defensive players, and 1 special teams player.  (More on this tomorrow.)

So now, the new board:

After the commitment of Michael Taylor the previous week, I had thought that we wouldn't see another commitment for a few weeks.  The season is almost here, which means that the remaining prospects will soon have the chance to see the Vols in action before they decide to hop aboard the Lane Train.  It also give the Vols' staff the opportunity to see the players in their senior campaign and be sure that they are progressing as expected.  Both sides benefit with the added information, and I fully expect them to take advantage of it.

So I was a little off after Taylor (not that I'm complaining), but my premise still stands - I don't expect much excitement between now and the first few games.  I can see a commitment or two after the Vols wax UCLA, but probably not before then.  On that note, we'll start focusing on the remaining needs of the 2010 class.  Tomorrow, I will illustrate the roster turnover in a way that should make things a little easier to understand.  There are some hidden facts about the 2010 class that I had never realized until I began to really dissect, and I think you'll be surprised.  Ed Orgeron knows his stuff, and he's pulled some tricks out of the bag that will make the 2010 class one of the best-fitting classes that UT has ever brought in.

Tyler Bray

One other tidbit  is that Tyler Bray - the beanstalk from California - is 'down' to 2 schools:  San Diego State and Tennessee.  It may seem odd to be in a race with SDSU for a quarterback, but two things worked against Bray: one is that he's very, very thin (6'-6" and about 190 lbs); the other is that he wasn't noticed by a lot of major schools early on.  He has had some terrific quarterback camps over the summer and has even outperformed some of the usual suspects, but he'll need to add about 30 lbs before anybody is comfortable with him taking hits.  (I think a large part of it was his growth spurt, which is leaving him in that lanky phase at the moment; by the time he takes over under center at college, he should be fine.)

Bray is currently committed to SDSU, though he refers to it as a 'soft' commitment and has clearly been listening to other offers.  This is not unusual for a kid who has a perceived liability (in this case, his weight); he's holding one offer in hand just to make sure he goes somewhere suitable, but he's still looking for the best deal available.  It's a little shady when you use the term 'commitment' on it, but this is simply the parlance of the process and is nothing new.  Assuming Askew doesn't get Sims to switch from Alabama, Bray may very well be the Kiffin future.

Not that we've never had success with 6'-6"quarterbacks or anything...


  • Delvin Jones:  Committed to UT
  • Damien Robinson:  OT Prospect
  • Gabe King:  DE Prospect
  • LaDarius Owens:  OLB Prospect




  • Tyler Bray:  Updated commentary to reflect final 2 schools.